It’s still early in the 2015-16 season but the Lowell River Hawks are already starting to put some separation between them and the rest of Hockey East in the league standings. Lowell played a league game across the pond in Belfast this past week against Northeastern and secured a win thanks to a tying goal in the final seconds and overtime winner. The victory gave the Hawks 15 league points, 5 points more than second place Boston College, though the Eagles have played four less games.
Lowell would go on to win the Belpot at the Friendship Four Tournament over in Northern Ireland after tying Brown 5-5 in the championship and winning the subsequent shootout. In the consolation game of the tournament Northeastern blasted Colgate 7-1 for a much needed win, their first since the opening weekend of the season. UMass’ next opponent, Notre Dame, hosted the Shillelagh Tournament at their home rink in South Bend. Harvard, the eventual tournament champion, knocked off the hosts 4-1 on Friday but the Irish bounced back to beat Western Michigan 3-1 on Saturday.
The Lowell-Northeastern game across the Atlantic was just one of two league games this past week. The other was Boston College beating UConn 5-1 on Tuesday in Hartford. The Huskies have now lost 8 straight. In other games last Tuesday New Hampshire fell to RPI 4-3 in Troy while Boston University shutout Bentley 3-0. After struggling to start the season, Maine has now won four in a row, including a weekend home sweep of Princeton.
Boston College fell behind 2-0 to RIT in Rochester on Saturday, but ultimately won the game 6-2. In a bit of a surprise result Merrimack dropped a game at home to a Union team that will visit Amherst in a couple weeks 4-0. Top ranked Providence beat #9 Yale 4-3 on Saturday night while Bentley went 0-for-2 against Hockey East with a 5-4 loss at New Hampshire. BU and Cornell played another round of Red Hot Hockey at Madison Square Garden and tied at 3 goals apiece.
Here are the current standings with Lowell out to the early lead and the logjam continuing at 3rd place, where the Minutemen can be found.
UNH’s Andrew Poturalski was named the Hockey East Player of the Week after scoring a hat trick against RPI. BC’s Colin White, who leads all rookies in the country in points, was named Rookie of the Week after a 1 goal, 3 assist week. Lowell’s Dylan Zink was named Defensive Player of the Week after scoring two goals overseas.
No Minutemen were included in the league honors or top performers this week, which happens when you only manage one goal on the weekend.
Getting swept this weekend resulted in the Minutemen no longer getting votes in the weekly USCHO rankings. The top three remained the same with Providence at #1, Boston College second, and Quinnipiac, fresh off their UMass sweep, staying at #3. Lowell’s tie against unranked Brown was enough to drop them from #4 to #5.
BU stays put at 11th while Merrimack’s loss to Union results in them falling from 14th to 16th. UMass will be facing a ranked team this weekend as Notre Dame comes in at 20th, falling a couple spots from last week with their weekend split.
USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll
November 30, 2015
|Team||(First Place Votes)||Record||Points||Last Poll|
|2||Boston College||(10)||12- 1-0||936||2|
|3||Quinnipiac||( 6)||13- 0-2||920||3|
|4||North Dakota||12- 2-2||813||5|
|7||St. Cloud State||11- 3-0||727||7|
|11||Boston University||7- 4-3||475||11|
|13||St. Lawrence||8- 3-2||398||14|
|14||Bowling Green||9- 3-3||320||15|
|17||Michigan Tech||9- 4-1||166||19|
|19||Penn State||8- 2-3||114||20|
|20||Notre Dame||6- 4-4||80||18|
|Others receiving votes: Rensselaer 54, Robert Morris 22, Minnesota State 20, Clarkson 8, Miami 5.|
The Boston Herald had this piece today on UMass surpassing expectations early on in the season.
I really want to do a UMail session this Wednesday, but to do so I need your questions! So send me your questions! Send me your questions about UMass’ results so far, which player has made the biggest difference, what’s led to Shane Walsh’s late career goal explosion (no idea actually), the best beer I had tailgating at UMass football, what you should buy your significant other for Christmas, opinion on the new Hangar location, or whatever! Please!